Crafts, trades, and skills which traditionally depend on muscle power demand that the artisans maximize their output while minimizing effort. Nowhere is that more important than smithing, where often swinging a heavy hammer with accuracy gains the most advantage in the limited time afforded to the smith before the work has to be reheated. A refined feel for the basics of smithing shows not only in the final product, but in the longevity of the smith at the forge as well.
In this video, shared by Mark Aspery of (www.markaspery.net/www.markaspery.net/
Home.html), the basics of producing five forms of taper are presented. The video starts with tapering a rectangular bar, then shows how to produce a square taper from square stock and transitioning to a round taper. The fourth taper is a chisel taper, here the video presents a very helpful hint of reducing the mass of the steel before proceeding to the chisel taper. The final taper is the diamond taper. All are good basic and essential skills for the would-be smith.